Ernst Asante is a freelance graphic designer, located in Ghana, who is growing his business with the help of PosterMyWall. “Design is a part of me. I love creating design,” Ernst said.
Unlike other designers who study design in school, Ernst is self-taught. In school, Ernst studied business administration. Ernst first discovered how much he loves creating designs when his boss at the hospital, where he is an administrative assistant, asked him to create a program brochure for a staff and family reunion. And at the same time, Ernst discovered his passion. “My boss loved what I created. He just loved it. And I loved doing it,” he said.
Now Ernst devotes his time outside of work to building his growing design studio, Sante Nsaano. One of Ernst’s strongest talents is logo creation—but he also creates fliers, social media posts, and business cards for businesses including restaurants and beauty studios.
The designs Ernst sells are a combination of original design and customizations of PosterMyWall templates. “I’m still learning, but PosterMyWall gives me everything I need to design. It’s so easy to create logos, fliers, whatever my clients need,” Ernst said.
Here are Ernst’s 6 tips for growing your graphic design business:
1. Explore multiple revenue streams
As Ernst grows his client base, he also earns revenue by designing original templates for PosterMyWall. The way this works is that he posts his designs to PosterMyWall as templates and when another PosterMyWall user purchases the use of his template, he receives a royalty. “When I got my first royalty, I was like WOW!” he said.
2. Share your work out there
Ernst makes sure that his friends, family, and customers know what he’s working on by maintaining active feeds on Facebook and Instagram. He shares the designs he creates so everyone keeps up with his progress—and sees that his business, and portfolio, are growing. “Posting to social media has definitely brought me customers,” Ernst said.
3. Ask for business
“I ask my friends if they need any designs or if they know someone who does, and to share my designs to their websites, blogs and social media. They have helped me a lot,” Ernst said. The result has been new work opportunities and referrals.
4. Satisfy you customers
“When your customers are happy, they give you other projects or refer you to other people,” Ernst said.
One of the ways Ernst makes sure his customers are happy is by really understanding what they want before he starts to design. He asks a lot of questions about what they want and how they plan to use the design. Then, he puts it all together in his work.
On the occasions when a client doesn’t like some element of his work, Ernst is always ready to make adjustments. “Sometimes they don’t like the background or some element, so I change it for them,” he said.
5. Do your research
Inspiration is everywhere so Ernst keeps his eyes open for examples of good design everywhere he goes. When he starts a new project, he often conducts multiple Google searches to jump-start his thinking. For instance, when Ernst designed the logo for Glory Pizza, he spent several hours researching what other pizza places were using for their logos.
6. Leverage the PosterMyWall template library
While much of Ernst’s work is original, he also uses PosterMyWall templates to speed up the design process. What he does is use a template as a starting point, then give it an entirely different look by adding custom colors, fonts and elements.
For client Naks Glam, Ernst started with a template, then added the Naks Glam colors, logo, and some custom photos to create an on-brand presentation. “Starting with templates saves me time and saves my clients money,” Ernst said.
Growing a design business isn’t easy. But as Ernst demonstrates, if you have talent, keep at it, and are diligent about getting your work in front of people, success will come in time.